Type: Exploratory
Pages: 2 | Words: 355
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Hunger is the general state of wanting to eat. Generally, people are motivated to take specific actions having been driven by biological, environmental or psychological reasons. The actions taken in response to hunger are better explained by the theories of motivation. These theories explain the forces that initiate, guide and sustain goal-oriented behaviors. This paper relates the drive theory of motivation to the biological hunger factors.

The drive theory of motivation states that people take certain actions so as to reduce internal states of arousal or tensions caused by unmet physiological needs (Plotnik & Kouyoumjian, 2011). An example here is the internal feeling of thirst which motivates a person to drink some water. Normally, human beings have internal biological needs that need to be satisfied so as to maintain stable or constant internal conditions through the homeostatic process (Franken, 1982). Thus, the drive theory is instrumental in explaining behaviors that have biological drives such as hunger. However from this theory, it is not clear on how these internal feelings come into play. Therefore, it is necessary to keenly look at the biological components of hunger.

The biological hunger factors come from peripheral cue or central cues. Plotnik & Kouyoumjian (2011) cited that the peripheral cues come as a result of changes in blood chemistry or signals from digestive organs. Central cues, on the other hand, result from brain areas. The organs responsible for the peripheral cues are those that are involved in digestion and regulation of the blood sugar levels. Such organs as small intestines secrete hormones which, in turn, send off hunger signals to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus in the brain has a group of cells that are involved in motivation (Nairne, 2009; Weiten, 2013).

The two main cells that regulate hunger are the lateral hypothalamus, which receives “hunger signals” from the digestive organs and increase appetite, and the ventromedial hypothalamus, which receives “full signals” from the digestive system. Plotnik & Kouyoumjian (2011) noted that the latter reduces appetite.

In conclusion, the hypothalamus of the brain is a very important biological hunger factor. It is involved in motivations and regulates the biological drives such as hunger and thirst.

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